November 10, 2016 | Force-feedback glove for precision virtual handling
CEA Tech Institute List presented its innovative virtual-reality system at the Innorobo trade show in May 2016. The compact, lightweight glove lets users efficiently and accurately work with items in their environment.
A new advance in haptic force feedback systems has been made by List, the result of R&D conducted under French National Research Agency project Mandarin. These systems are used to remotely-control manufacturing robots and to let users interact with digital models in virtual-reality environments. List's haptic force feedback glove is more compact and offers a higher level of performance than other current solutions.
The particularly compact, lightweight prototype packs in several patented innovations. Typically, each finger is powered by three motors to either provide resistance to or to guide the opening and closing of the hand; the List prototype uses a single force feedback motor. The prototype also leverages a mechanism to simulate finger-pad deformation, ensuring 3D haptic feedback.
The researchers also developed a compact gear system to make the actuators more compact, lighter in weight, and reversible—a much more "transparent" solution than what was previously available. Optical sensors placed around the axis of each joint were chosen to improve overall system integration.
List presented the product to the public at the last Innorobo trade show in Paris; a prototype a step closer to industrial scale-up is expected to be completed by end-2016.